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Handcart Pioneers

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Tracing Latter-day Saint Ancestors Gotoarrow.png Emigration and Immigration Gotoarrow.png Handcart Pioneers

Handcart pioneers.jpg
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Handcart Companies[edit | edit source]

Between 1856 and 1860 nearly 3,000 emigrants from the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined ten handcart companies--about 650 handcarts total--and walked to Utah from Iowa City, Iowa, (a distance of 1,300 miles) or from Florence, Nebraska (1,030 miles). Among these courageous handcart pioneers were cobblers, factory workers, farmers, fisherman, and aristocrats. Swiss, Danish, Scottish, Norwegian, Welsh, and English immigrants; they often didn’t share the same language. However they did share the same desire, to reach the Rocky Mountains and live among the members of their newfound church. This was, according to historian LeRoy Hafen, "the most remarkable travel experiment in the history of Western America." [1] [2] See also Mormon Trail and Latter-day Saint Emigration and Immigration.

Many families have a tradition that their ancestry came to Utah in a handcart company. These and others came overland between 1847 and 1868.

Handcart Company Captain Left
Individuals Died en route Arrived
 Salt Lake City
First Edmund Ellsworth 20 Jul 1856 274 13 26 Sep 1856
Second Daniel D. McArthur 24 Jul 1856 221 7 26 Sep 1856
Edward Bunker 30 Jul 1856 320 < 7 2 Oct 1856
Fourth/Willie James G. Willie 17 Aug 1856 ~404 68 9 Nov 1856
Fifth/Martin Edward Martin 27 Aug 1856 576 >145 30 Nov 1856
Sixth Israel Evans 20 Jun 1857 149 (0) 11 Sep 1857
Christian Christiansen 15 Jul 1857 ~330 ~6 13 Sep 1857
Eighth George Rowley 9 Jun 1859 235 ~5 4 Sep 1859
Ninth Daniel Robison 6 Jun 1860 233 1 27 Aug 1860
Tenth Oscar O. Stoddard 6 Jul 1860 124 0 24 Sep 1860

Histories[edit | edit source]

Google Books[edit | edit source]

Articles[edit | edit source]

Related FamilySearch Blog Articles[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. LeRoy R. and Ann W. Hafen, Handcarts to Zion: The Story of a Unique Western Migration, 1856-1860 (1960);
  2. Wallace Stegner, The Gathering of Zion: The Story of the Mormon Trail (1964).
  3. Le Roy Reuben Hafen, Ann W. Hafen, Handcarts to Zion: The Story of a Unique Western Migration, 1856-1860 (1960)
  4. Thomas B. H. Stenhouse The Rocky Mountain Saints: A Full and Complete History of the Mormons, from the First Vision of Joseph Smith to the Last Courtship of Brigham Young...and the Development of the Great Mineral Wealth of the Territory of Utah Published by D. Appleton and company, 1873, 761 pages